The JayC Plus store in Bedford has earned the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Energy Star certification, which signifies that the building performs in the top 25 percent of similar facilities nationwide for energy efficiency and meets strict energy efficiency performance levels set by the EPA.l

“JayC is pleased to accept EPA’s Energy Star certification in recognition of our energy efficiency efforts,” said John Kelley, director of facility engineering and real estate for JayC Food Stores. “Through this achievement, we have demonstrated our commitment to environmental stewardship while also lowering our energy costs.”

Commercial buildings that earn EPA’s Energy Star certification use an average of 35 percent less energy than typical buildings and also release 35 percent less carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. The Bedford JayC store improved its energy performance by managing energy strategically across the entire store and by making cost-effective improvements to the building.

To earn the Energy Star, JayC retrofitted standard lighting with fluorescent lights, installed efficient case fan motors within the cases, installed a building and refrigeration controller system, and installed contactors that allow lights to go off at night. They also installed LED lighting within the dairy and frozen glass door cases and motion sensors on frozen glass door cases that allow the lights to shut off when customers are not in front of them. Kelley said the JayC store also put in variable speed drives on condensers to allow fans to only run at the speed that is needed.

According to Kelley, EPA’s Energy Star energy performance scale helps organizations assess how efficiently their buildings use energy relative to similar buildings nationwide. A building that scores a 75 or higher on EPA’s 1-100 scale may be eligible for Energy Star certification. Commercial buildings that can earn the Energy Star include offices, bank branches, data centers, retail stores, courthouses, hospitals, hotels, K-12 schools, medical offices, supermarkets, dormitories, houses of worship and warehouses.

Energy Star was introduced in 1992 as a voluntary, market-based partnership to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through energy efficiency. Today, the Energy Star label can be found on more than 65 different kinds of products, 1.4 million new homes, and 20,000 commercial buildings and industrial plants that meet strict energy-efficiency specifications set by the EPA. Over the past 20 years, American families and businesses have saved more than $230 billion on utility bills and prevented more than 1.8 billion metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions with help from Energy Star.

JayC Food Stores is a division of Kroger, one of the world’s largest retailers. They employ more than 375,000 people and serve customers in 2,638 supermarkets in 34 states and the District of Columbia under two dozen local banner names. Recognized by Forbes as the most generous company in America, Kroger supports hunger relief, breast cancer awareness, the military and their families, and more than 30,000 schools and grassroots organizations. Kroger contributes food and funds equal to 200 million meals a year through Feeding America food bank partners.